The Truth About Marshall Stacks (there, I said it)

Discussion in 'Amps & Cabs' started by Kevy Nova, Mar 12, 2012.

  1. DFLCC

    DFLCC Well-Known Member

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    I am not active as I was in the past. I had to say it is vanity at the moment. I use them as I feel. My 100H is my go to amp, because the 4X12 cab favors lower freqs. When the wife starts looking at me funny, I go to the 40C at 20W.

    If I was active it will depend, some veneus today ban stack and/or required the use of their PA. The DSL 40 fit the need when miced. I still would prefer to use the 100H.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2014
  2. dbb

    dbb Well-Known Member

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    I get that completely - and thank you for the straight honest answer.

    I have never been a Marshall user, but so many cool rock sounds come from Marshall gear I make sure on my modeling amps (my main gigging amps) that there is a good classic rock Marshall tone available.

    But reading between the lines, it does sound like moving lots of air with the classic 4x12 cabinet is where it's at.

    I assume the tone on the combo amp is similar, but just not so powerful in a visceral way.

    The largest amps I used were Fender Showman w/ JBL 15" speakers back in the 70's.

    Even though they were loud, I never felt like they were about moving air. The classic Ampeg SVT bass amp was about moving air - the Ampeg guys figured that 8 10" speakers would move a lot of air, and it was one of the first great large venue bass amps.

    So, with my little Fender SCXD with a JBL speaker, I get a tone color almost like my old Showman...but not as loud. The difference in feel isn't so noticeable.

    I'm getting it - the Marshalls are like the SVT. It really is about moving a shitload of air.
     
  3. flyswatter

    flyswatter Member

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    I owned a Marshall Haze 40 combo for a while -- a short while. Great size and tone at first blush but the thing was a lemon. Ear splitting "pop" when you turned it off sometimes, massive hiss from the speakers even when at low gain, tube sockets soldered straight to the circuit board and really loose when you wiggled the tubes.

    I returned it to the store and exchanged it for an SG Special!

    I've also tried all iterations of the recent DSL combos (15, 40, combo/ small head, etc). Better quality than the Haze but I found the gain stage too balls-out metal for my purposes. Couldn't get any sort of mid-gain tubey overdrive sound for blues, without running the amp clean and using a tubescreamer -- which kind of defeats the purpose of not just going with a Fender.

    So overall I was disappointed in the recent combos in spite of trying really hard to like them, because I do love that classic Marshall sound.
     
  4. dbb

    dbb Well-Known Member

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    What about those Bluesbreaker combo amps?

    Is that more "classic" ?

    Marshall 1962 Bluesbreaker Combo Amp | Musician's Friend

    Not cheap either, but Marshall has never been a budget amp.
     
  5. flyswatter

    flyswatter Member

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    That's the holy grail of a Marshall combo, but for that price I'd sooner buy a vintage Fender Deluxe, Vibrolux, etc for a grand and a half, then take the family on vacation.
     
  6. dbb

    dbb Well-Known Member

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    I was surprised how much that amp cost, too.
     
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  7. Relic61

    Relic61 Well-Known Member

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    I got me a penchant for the late 70's Marshall JMP 50 watt Combo amps (2 channel with master volume) preferably in 2 x 12. The clean channel is a very pure / organic sounding one with a responsive full EQ spectrum of sound, until you really crank it way up where it gets a bit snotty. The drive channel puts out a controllable drive full of tube harmonics that sounds tasty from low volume to high.

    Here's a pic of a 79 50 watter. Oooo so sexy!
    [​IMG]
    You can pick up well used examples for around a Grand to finer conditioned ones getting closer to $1500 with the caveat being collector value retention & resalability! For those who love this tone its a win win! Spanky pure rich sounding cleans, thick n rich harmonic overdrive & built in permanent value.

    While the half open back doesn't have the closed back full on slap of a 4 x 12, they still have a punch all there own with the plus side of being more multi-directional than a closed back & easier to hear yourself when having to stand on top of your amp.

    You gotta check out her backside!
    [​IMG]


    Of course with any amp there are both the good & the bad, the up & the downside. :hmm: And that gentlemen is why one amp is simple never enough. Although I have played Marshall's advocate here I actually own & play a $#!Tload of amps & find I personally derive the most satisfaction from a well maintained vintage tube amp. But thats me. :thumb:

    Point being, what makes you happy & works for you, IS THE 'RIGHT AMP'!!! Or, one of the many right amps you happen to love. :)
     
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  8. dbb

    dbb Well-Known Member

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    Thank for that post. This is the first time I've read any post that mentions Marshall and cleans at the same time!

    I assume you loose a bit of lows with the open back compared to a closed half stack, but I bet overall this is nice amp.

    I bet I could even coax a jazz tone out of it, of course not cranked!
     
  9. Kris Ford

    Kris Ford Well-Known Member

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    Winning.
     
  10. Tony M

    Tony M Well-Known Member

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    Don't those late '70s 50 watt 2 X 12 Marshall combos weigh like a million pounds?
     
  11. Hammer

    Hammer Well-Known Member

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    A million pounds of AWESOME!!! :dude: :laugh2:
     
  12. dbb

    dbb Well-Known Member

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    just like a Twin Reverb....loud and heavy....maybe a different kind of loud

    So how heavy was your Hiwatt rig?
     
  13. Tony M

    Tony M Well-Known Member

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    That was different.

    :laugh2:
     
  14. dbb

    dbb Well-Known Member

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    That loud, eh?

    ??????
     
  15. flyswatter

    flyswatter Member

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    To me heavy is the point with those old Twins and Marshall 50 combos. Blowing +50 watts of tube power needs a cabinet that can hold steady and withstand the rattle and hum you'll get when you crank things up.

    A little 15-30 watt small combo can get by with a light cab made of 1/2 ply or particle but a bigger amp needs a more solid cab.

    I feel the difference everytime I gig with my Super Reverb Silverface (the later 70 watt version), which is big and heavy but won't shake under pressure. All the light "convenient" combos I've used on the side start rattling and shaking like an old asthmatic once things heat up.

    Also, much of the weight comes from the big iron transformers in those older beasts, which is really where you get the oomph from.
     
  16. dbb

    dbb Well-Known Member

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    Nothing like those larger SF Fenders! I actually like them AS THEY ARE, great amps for my style of playing.
     
  17. Relic61

    Relic61 Well-Known Member

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    Im thinking the early Fender Twins & late 70's Marshall 2x12 combos were roughly in the same 80-ish or 80 something lb range. I sure don't carry these things by the handle anymore! Its right up to the chest with two hands around the bottom, & a calculated walk from there. Too far & I use a hand cart or .. a younger person thats ready to impress the girls! he he. Wow damn your strong! Do you think you can do a 4 x 12 cabinet without the wheels touching the ground?? Yeah I think she likes you! No dude, she was totally watching you muscle that amp to the stage bro! You got this, I'll walk in front of you & clear the way.
     
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  18. zone47

    zone47 Member

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    A good guitar play can always appreciate a 4x12. :) If you don't feel the power in pushing a lot of air, you may be dead. :ohno:
     
  19. Tony M

    Tony M Well-Known Member

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    Actually, the SPL to weight ratio was very good.

    :laugh2:
     
  20. dbb

    dbb Well-Known Member

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    Ah, yes...loud and heavy! Those were the days.....as long as you had a road crew.
     

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